The people who made Aliens in the Attic probably will not be surprised to hear that their film is mediocre, given that they don't seem to have been shooting for anything better than that anyway. I picture the walls of the production office lined with motivational posters that say "Good Enough!" and "Why Waste Effort?" And when they're all done, and the C+ grades come out, everyone shouts "Woo-hoo!" and trades high-fives.

Titled They Came from Upstairs until just a couple months ago, Aliens in the Attic is a family-friendly version of an alien-invasion B-movie, with most of its cast culled from the sweatshops of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon programs. The primary setting is a spacious lakeside rental home in Michigan, where teenage math nerd Tom Pearson (Carter Jenkins) has unwillingly come to spend the Fourth of July with his immediate family, three cousins, an uncle, and a grandma. Making matters worse, his sister, Bethany (Ashley Tisdale), has schemed to let her weaselly boyfriend, Ricky (Robert Hoffman), stay there, too. And then, making matters even worse, aliens crash in the attic.

There are four of them, vaguely reptilian, all computer-generated, about knee-high. Their aim is to destroy humanity, though this is offset by their being bumbling and argumentative, lest they frighten the kiddies in the audience. Their neatest trick is that they can shoot a little dart into your neck and then remote-control you to do their bidding. But it only works on adults, leaving Tom and the other kids as the only hope to save the world.